Plea bargaining in Montenegro
: an examination of the workings of the current system of plea bargaining

  • Ana Grgurevic

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The present criminal justice systems face challenges in the modern world characterized by the development of new technologies, fast communication, and the interconnection of different and distant parts of the world; in simple terms the challenges of the Earth becoming “a global village.” This causes crime to be more complex and to grow, and consequently criminal justice systems are being burdened with new types of problems. In this context, systems are forced to try to deal with criminal cases in a more efficient and faster way, to define priorities and look for alternatives to the classical trial which requires significant time, effort and resources. One of these alternative ways is plea agreements, or as is more commonly said plea bargaining. This legal instrument is present in its different forms in a number of national legal systems, as well as in international law. This work deals with its development, application and potential future in Montenegro.
First, the key features and principles of plea bargaining as a legal institution are presented in this work, demonstrating its strongest and most complex presence in the United States as the country of its origin, but also in other countries and in international law. After that, the thesis deals with the development, regulation, as well as the extent of the presence of plea bargaining practices in Montenegro, at the same time providing a comparison with two neighboring counties, Serbia and Croatia. Furthermore, through a number of interviews conducted with Montenegrin prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges as the main actors in this process, the thesis focuses on discovering how the practice functions in reality, and what hides behind the relatively simple legal provisions that regulate this issue. After identifying the key, very interesting, issues that emerge from practical experience, the thesis presents the relevant implications for the future, and a number of related conclusions and recommendations.
Date of AwardFeb 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorPhil Clements (Supervisor), Diana Bretherick (Supervisor) & Matthew Weait (Supervisor)

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